13 things you said about suggestion to ban A&E walk-ins
A potential pilot scheme which would see walk-in patients barred from attending A&E has prompted dozens of responses from our readers.
The "talk before you walk" scheme would mean patients wishing to visit A&E would need to get advice elsewhere first before attending. If implemented, it is hoped that it would help in reducing the number of people who attend emergency departments.
Dr Helen Thomas, national medical adviser for integrated urgent care at NHS England, spoke about the scheme at the Urgent Health UK conference. She added that talks with health secretary Jeremy Hunt were "at an early stage" - but that such a scheme "may well pilot" with his backing.
Many have criticised the plan, with the BMA warning that the move could encourage more people to go to hospital inappropriately.
Here's what you said about the idea on social media.
Joyce Galley: "That's ridiculous if it's an emergency you cannot waste time ringing 111 or your GP you need to go straight to hospital."
Louise Welch: "Those who waste time at A&E for minor ailments will be stopped but at the expense of jeopardising a persons life who would waste precious time phoning 111, waiting for call backs etc, such as a person with sepsis. This will also put even more pressure on ambulance service, an easy way in to A&E. Yes, the NHS is over run by time wasters but two wrongs do not make a right!"
Julie Mcdowell: "Just to let you know pharmacy are going going to be trained into see patients with minor ailments. I can see the future of us in the pharmacy being some kind of nurse and the pharmacist being a doctor!"
Angela Young: "Ridiculous. The words accident and emergency mean it has happened unexpectedly. You might not have time to phone 111 or go to the doctors."
Vicky Hughes: "I agree people go to A&E for the stupidest of things. if people respected the NHS and used it properly this wouldn't have to be done."
Kimberley Zara Wilson: "A&E means accident and emergency so it couldn't be called emergency if you had to be referred! Stupid idea but I agree with those people going with minor ailments which take up valuable resources and the drunks."
Julie Mooney: "I agree a lot of time wasters at A&E. But having to have a referral first could result in time wasted trying to save lives, you can wait 4+ hours for callback from 111 in this time someone's health could seriously deteriorate. People need to use common sense."
Karen McLaughlin: "Don't think it's a good idea as an over the phone assessment could miss something or most patients that call up would require a medical intervention anyway so hospital would still be full."
Sarah Jayne Hunt: "111 are taking high number of calls to start with! Personally I think the biggest issue is people going for complaints that could wait till doctors open..a lot of people are using it as a walking place to get seen as quick as possible for ailments that could be treated at lower level of care."
Beckie Holt: "If we could get appointments at our doctors and they were actually open on a weekend people wouldn't feel the need to go to A&E but all weekend is a long time to wait until doctors is open if you are concerned/unwell especially where children are concerned."
Carol 'Kinson' Scarth: "This is shocking, before long we won't have anywhere to turn to should we become genuinely ill."
Emilie de Bruijn: "This is common in other countries such as Holland and works really well. When you get to A&E there is no wait and they are expecting you so have what they need ready. Exceptions are strokes, heart problems and excessive bleeding etc where you either ring an ambulance or go straight in."
Jim Gillespie: "It just pushes the problem to another part of the system, which is already overloaded too."